Thursday, September 18, 2014

Voter ID Wins in Wisconsin

Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit dissolved the injunction that was previously issued against the Wisconsin voter ID law. The appeals court told Wisconsin election officials they “may, if [they wish] (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November’s elections.”

As Hans von Spakovsky points out, the Court of Appeals had a hard time understanding why the injunction was issued in the first place. In the opinion, the three-judge panel discussed District Court Judge Lynn Adelman’s decision about issuing the injunction and holding Wisconsin’s voter ID law invalid, stating:

It [the Wisconsin voter ID law] is materially identical to Indiana’s photo ID statute, which the Supreme Court held valid in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008)

Von Spakovsky dissects the opinion further, realizing:

It was also obviously significant to the 7th Circuit that the Wisconsin state Supreme Court had upheld the state’s voter ID law in July, since the three-judge panel cited that decision, Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker, too. In fact, the appeals court said the state court decision had changed the “balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief.”

In other words, there was no justification for striking down a state voter ID law identical to one that had been previously upheld by both the Supreme Court of the United States and that state’s highest court.

Kevin Kennedy, Wisconsin’s top election official has pledged to implement the voter ID law for the November 2014 election, saying:

We are taking every step to fully implement the voter photo ID law for the November general election. We are now focused on communicating with local election officials and voters, and will have more information about the details next week.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been quoted saying this law will make it “easier to vote and harder to cheat” in Wisconsin elections.

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